We have decided to change our minimum required PHP version from 5.2 to 5.6. This may sound like a big change for some, but don’t worry! We’ve got you covered, and can take you through the steps on how to make this change and quickly explain why this change is beneficial for all of us.
What is PHP?
In its simplest terms, PHP is the language that WordPress is written in. The more recent the version of PHP your site runs, the faster and more secure it will be. In fact, PHP versions below 5.6 generally don’t receive security updates, and are no longer maintained.
Why are we making this change?
Using a more recent version of PHP will not only help us build a better product—it’ll also help to cut down on support time for outdated PHP versions. This change will furthermore create a better testing environment for us so that we can get bug fixes out more efficiently. These things, along with improved security and performance, will benefit not only our team, but our users as well.
Who else has implemented this change?
WordPress.org itself now recommends upgrading to PHP version 7.2, as they outline in this article: https://wordpress.org/support/upgrade-php/
WooCommerce also recommends PHP version 7.0 or greater, as stated on their website.
When is this happening?
If your site is running PHP version 5.5 or lower, you’ll begin to see an admin notice with our next maintenance release; this notice will serve as a gentle reminder that you should begin to consider updating, as we will begin to remove support for older versions of PHP in the near future.
How do I update my site’s PHP version?
First, check which PHP version you are using. You can do this by going to Events Settings → Help in your wp-admin and checking out your system information, like in the following screenshot:
If you’re using PHP version 5.5 or below, you’ll want to begin thinking about making this change. If your web host provides a cPanel for administering your site’s server, you can often find one-click installs of more recent PHP versions.
Otherwise, you can contact your host to make this switch easier. Usually all that’s required is a quick ping to their support team asking for a PHP version increase.
If your host doesn’t have updated versions of PHP available, we’d recommend switching to a host that does. We currently recommend the following hosts, which will make switching your PHP version easier:
If you have any additional questions on this process, feel free to reach out to us over on the Help Desk!